Eric Thomas (“ET”) is a motivation speaker, entrepreneur, and co-creator of one of the most motivational videos to ever hit the internet. I mean, this shit makes you want to go buy a brand new pair of Nikes and then run home from the store while carrying 100-pound dumbbells.
In a recent interview with Lewis Howes, ET talks about the keys to success, and a huge factor in whether or not somebody is successful is his or her ability to execute. Executing is the consistency in which you do what you say that you’re going to do.
This is something that I have battled with over and over in my own life. I’m really good at trash talking. I’m really good at critiquing others and giving them advice. But I often struggle with executing ideas and plans in my own life.
The fact that we’re on Day 19 of the Blog Blitz and I’m yet to miss a day is quite the accomplishment if I do say so myself.
It’s easy to talk and get excited about things, but once we hit that pain period that happens with all change, it becomes so much easier to give up than keep going. Even though we know that if we keep going our lives will be better.
That’s why New Years Resolutions are so much fun.. until February. Thinking about all these new changes were going to make, to our bodies or out bank accounts, is so exciting that it sparks the motivation to take some action.
But after about a week, Cheetos become more appealing than a six pack, and a brand new TV looks better than that Roth IRA. And we fall back into our old habits.
Interestingly enough, simply saying you’re going to accomplish something releases the same endorphins in your brain that get released when you actually achieve it. Crazy right?? You can feel as if you’ve crossed off everything on your to-do list without ever leaving the couch.
Although feel-good chemicals flooding your brain feels nice in the moment, our outer world won’t change much until we do
So here are tools ways to try to finally stick with the new changes and goals in your life longer than 3 days.
1) Being on the Hook
Next time you announce you’re going to do something, make it a BIG time announcement. Share it with all of your friends and family. Put it on all your social media channels. Stand up in the middle of your 200-person lecture hall and scream “I WILL WORKOUT TODAY!”
Writer and marketer Seth Godin talks about how people hate being “on the hook,” but being on the hook [to do something] everyday is a must in order to be successful. We hate it because now there is something, or someone, holding us accountability for what we do, or better yet, don’t do. There’s some pressure to show up. If it’ getting late in the day, and I don’t have a blog post up for the Blog Blitz, I’ll get messages from readers asking what the deal is.
When I started this 30-Day Blog Blitz, I told everybody on my Facebook page, I told my sister Jill (who told everybody we were hanging out with). When we put ourselves on the hook like this we are more likely to take action because we don’t want to look like a goon.
Now that my fragile ego and extreme pride are on the line I have to show up, and I have to produce, or I’ll be embarrassed.
Or try it on a smaller scale. Just tell one person.
A good friend of mine recently told me that he is going to start an exercise program. He said he was going to exercise 5-days per week. Now, I told him there’s no way he’s going to go from 5 days/week of Coors Light training to 5-days of weights just like that. That’s just not how change works.
I’ve got to give it to my man though, he’s been executing flawlessly. He knows I will be asking about how his workouts are going, and he knows I want to say “I told you so.” By sharing his plans with me, he now has some social accountability to stick with it.
2) 30-Day Challenges
I got this idea from Amber Rae, a writer and entrepreneur who does these 30-day challenges to get small wins, build some momentum, and gain a sense of achievement. Also, the human brain is better programmed to achieve 30-to-90 day goals than 1-year goals and 5-year plans.
It’s crazy, being 19 days into this challenge, I’m feeling momentum build up. I actually get excited to write, and ideas come easy, whereas before it took me hours to write a blog post.
We used to run a program at Metabolic Effect called the 4-Week Fat Loss Jumpstart. It was a pretty intense program, with a competitor-like diet component. Many people saw results, and that was great, but we knew the program wasn’t sustainable forever. It was too intense.
What the program did do was give our clients a sense of achievement and created some momentum. Both of my parents did this 30-day challenge, and still use a few of the tools we taught to this day.
Try picking one thing that you’ll execute on for the next 30 days. Maybe it’s eating vegetables, maybe it’s practicing a new language for 10 minutes, meditating, doing 100 push-ups, calling an old friend, reading for an hour, whatever. Pick one thing, and make it a daily practice. Make it non-negotiable, build some momentum, and see what happens.
If you really have some guts, try the 90/90 Rule. Implement ONE idea for the next 90 days and succeed in completing the task 90% of the time. An essential element of performance is for people to learn to trust themselves (also known as self-efficacy). We do this by getting small wins consistently. Start with 30, and see where is goes.
3) Edit Your Story
There’s I really cool exercise I picked up from a friend of mine. It’s called “story editing.” Part of the reason we get stuck sometimes is because of the internal stories we tell ourselves.
“I’m not the type of person who works out.”
“I’m a 7-day per week beer drinker.”
“I’m someone who can’t stick with my goals.”
When we change this story, our actions begin to change with it. Try his writing exercise:
“Take out a sheet of paper, and begin to write your story in 3rd person up to this point.”
For example, mine might start out like this” “For a long time, Danny rarely did what he said he was going to do. He wasn’t staying true to his commitment…”
Then, rewrite a new ending to the story. “Then he did a 30-day blog blitz. He began writing daily, sent his articles to be published on high traffic websites, and doubled the amount of his coaching clients…”
Try taking a couple hours in the afternoon, and really re-writing these stories.
4) Make Action a Habit
“Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.” ~Napoleon Hill
Procrastination is one of the biggest threats to our success. “I’ll do it later” and “I’ll start on Monday” are daggers in the heart of making lasting changes. The point of the first three tools were to simply to get you moving. Be on the hook, get a 30 day jumpstart, and break the barriers of your limiting beliefs about yourself with story editing are all to-do’s to bust through procrastination and simply get started.
Just like anything else in life, both procrastination and motivation are habits. The more we do them, the better we get. It’s what I call the Movement-Motivation Cycle. The more you do something, anything, the more motivation you’ll have. And the more motivation you have, the more you’ll make moves. And on and one..
Life is too short to wait for the perfect moment, or to start “when you’re ready.” You and I both need to start making moves on our goals and dreams. The faster we make action a habit, the easier things get.
5) Have Something to Lose
My brother and I both had the same bad habit, so I offered a friendly bet, “How about this, first one to slip up has to pay out $100?” He quickly responded with “Fuck it, let’s make it $500”
Neither of us has slipped up in 5 months since making the bet. As humans, the pain of loss is greater than the pleasure we get from gain. What’s something that would hurt to lose if you didn’t execute? Money? Pride? Put something on the line for you to lose if you don’t do what you say you’re going to do.
6) Build Your Social Circle
I recently read about a study performed on the US Navy that showed within a platoon, if one cadet is overweight and out of shape, it is more likely that the other eleven cadets will become less healthy and out of shape themselves, than the one cadette will get in shape.
Did I say that right?
Isn’t that interesting? Unhealthy habits in health, wealth, and relationships are far more contagious than than positive, healthy habits.
When we are trying to make lasting change, who we hang out with is huge. It’s not wonder I’m churning out blogs in June, I’m hanging with my sister who often writes 2,000 words per day for her business.
We take on the behaviors and habits of our social circle. It’s essential to find people who are supportive when you’re trying to make changes.
Try a tool above, and let us know how they work for you. Which one of these do you struggle with? Start this week. It is Monday after all..